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Meeting of the Mentors

07 Jun 2011

Lucy attendees Lucy Mentors meet their mentees for the first time.

More than 100 inspirational women united at Westpac's Corporate Head office in Sydney's CBD recently for the launch of the 2011 Lucy Mentoring Program. The event was co-hosted by the University of Sydney Business School and The University of Western Sydney.

The program, now in its eighth year, involves seven universities and the NSW Office for Women's Policy, and aims to establish a formal mentoring relationship between leading female business executives and young women studying business, economics, finance, accounting and law. The initiative inspires and motivates students about career opportunities in the corporate and public sectors.

After each mentor was introduced to their students, the group had the opportunity to hear from the Head of Women in Leadership of Westpac, Dimity Hodge, who gave insight into the program and what both parties should expect to gain from the experience. Dimity's rousing speech referred to the students as the "leaders of tomorrow".

Lucy attendees Mentors offered initial advice to the girls and worked out a schedule for meeting.

Returning mentor Cynthia Payne, CEO of SummitCare - an organisation that provides quality residential aged care within the Sydney metropolitan area, spoke fondly of her experiences as a mentor. "For the mentor, mentoring is a great opportunity to develop the skill of developing others, away from the confines of his or her own team."

"It is also one of the few opportunities for the mentor to take reflective time out during the working day. Working with the mentee's issues often leads the mentor to valuable insights about relationships with their own team. When asked for what they have gained from the relationship, mentors most commonly talk of intellectual challenge, of learning, and of the simple satisfaction at seeing someone else progress."

Guests then had the opportunity to mingle, and help themselves to refreshments. The night was also marked by a speech by two students, Sarah Yit, and Lara Wade, who had each participated in a previous Lucy Mentoring Program. Each student shared their experience, really demonstrating how the program had benefited their lives.

The new Lucy inductees will spend a total of 35 hours in the mentor's work place over the coming months - either in a block or in stages over a period of weeks - prior to graduating from the program at the end of in September.